Happy 3rd Anniversary!

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Just wanted to take a moment and say thank you to all my followers as I celebrate the third anniversary of my blog Read What I Like.  So thank you for the likes and comments and I’m still thrilled that you find my opinion about what I read entertaining.

Refection

It seems hard to believe both that I have only been blogging for three years, it feels like it should be longer, and at the same time that it has actually been three years because I feel like such a novice to all this.  The blog still feels small to me and that is by design.  I’m not looking for major page hits or tons of comments, I simply want a small little corner where I can share my love or loathing for the books I read.  A highly successful blog is a lot of work and I’m not interested in that.  For now, I simply want my blog to remain an authentic extension of my reading hobby.  This space started out for me and it shall remain that way; that is probably why it still surprises me that almost 1000 people have subscribed.

Looking Ahead

Don’t look for a lot of changes.  I have scaled back some of my ambition over the past year as life continues to get in the way of my reading.  I will continue to be selective in my review request books and focus on reading all those titles I put on my TBR list ages ago.  The blog is named Read What I Like for a reason and I want to get that passion for reading books I like again.  In the beginning of the blog, I got too wrapped up in memes, givaways, review deadlines, challenges, etc. While all of that was fun, it was also a lot of work and sucked some of the joy out of simply reading.  Blogs come and go and I want to have staying power, so that means cutting some of the stuff that kills my joy.  I hope you understand, I appreciate you all but the blog is going to stay small scale.  I’m about authenticity in my reviews and when I get too gimmicky I feel like the blog doesn’t represent who I am.

My name is Amy and  I am a reader.  I read books and review them honestly for you.  Thanks for being a part of my passion.

Happy Reading~

Top Ten Tuesday: Not a Fan

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week they ask us to share lists on the following:

February 21: Ten Books I Loved Less/More Than I Thought I Would (recently or all time)

First off sorry I didn’t get a post out yesterday.  We left for town to get the car alignment done early and I just didn’t get around to it in the afternoon.  This week I am going to not select single books but paranormal series/authors that I just didn’t click with.  I tried to stick to major names that have wide fan bases and not just obscure authors few have heard of.  So shall we see who I’m just not a fan of?

Ten Paranormal Series I Didn’t Like

  1. Dark Prince (Dark, #1)  Christine Feehan: Took me several books before I realized that this author’s writing style and I didn’t gel.  It has been a while so I can’t remember exactly why she didn’t work for me just that I didn’t care for her series and decided to pursue greener pastures.
  2. A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #2) Kresley Cole: Another series where I read several books into the series before abandoning.  Also, another series that I attempted so long ago that I forgot why.  Thank goodness for Goodreads otherwise, I would be picking up work by these authors that I don’t care for all the time…
  3. The Darkest Night (Lords of the Underworld #1) Gena Showalter: I so wanted to enjoy this author’s work that I attempted two different series by her.  Neither one clicked for me so now I know better than to pick up a tempting book by Ms. Showalter.  Pretty covers, though.
  4. Bitten & Smitten (Immortality Bites, #1) Michelle Rowen: Read like three books in this series.  It was enough.
  5. I Burn for You (Primes, #1) Susan Sizemore: Ditto.
  6. Betrayed (House of Night, #2) P.C. Cast: Picked up this series shortly after my Twilight phase.  Just didn’t care for it.  Too much poetry and too imature.
  7. Undead and Unwed (Undead, #1) MaryJanice Davidson: I tried with this world.  The main character ended up doing me in and I just couldn’t continue after like five books.  Not a fan.
  8. Kiss of Pride (Deadly Angels, #1) Sandra Hill: Just couldn’t get into the second book in this series.  I do own the next two books however so this one is the only series on the list that I will be making another attempt at someday…
  9. Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #1) Laurell K. Hamilton: This author and the next are so popular that I am almost ashamed to put them on the list.  I had to though because in the end I didn’t like either of these series one I managed to get like five books into before abandoning the other I dumped halfway through the second book.
  10. Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1) Jim Butcher: See above.  Dumped halfway through book two.  Sorry but I could not stand his characters.

 

Well, I hope that I have not offended too many of you this week’s selections.  Just remember that just because something didn’t work for me doesn’t mean you won’t love it so go give these a try to make up your own mind whether they are good or not.  What authors haven’t worked for you?

Killing Rocks by D.D. Barant

Book Review

 


Killing Rocks (The Bloodhound Files, #3)Book Genre: Mystery, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: The Bloodhound Files #3

Released: 12/28/2010 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Pages: 308 Price: $7.99 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I own a copy of this book

 

 

Book Synopsis:

FBI profiler Jace Valchek’s ticket home from the twisted parallel universe where she’s been called to duty hinges on the capture of serial killer Aristotle Stoker—and an alliance with a sorcerer known as Asher. The problem: Asher has joined forces with some of the most dangerous creatures Jace has ever encountered. The solution: There is none, without Asher’s help…

Jace’s goal seems simple enough—to get her man, like always. But just hours after she arrives in Vegas, she’s abducted…and she isn’t even sure who the real enemy is. Now Jace has to wonder if she’s the predator or the prey in a very dangerous game that could change not only her fate, but the world’s…Meanwhile, a serial killer is still on the loose. And time has already run out…

My Review:

Let me be blunt.  I didn’t care for this book that much and it has made me a little hesitant to continue on with the remaining three books.  I enjoyed the first two and still like most of the characters but this book was just off.  I struggled to become invested in the plot and kept waiting for it to simply be over.  I got down to the last 50 pages and almost walked away because I simply didn’t care.  I stuck with it and in the end, I’m glad I did, but man, this was a chore to read at times.

Now let me tell you why.  The flashbacks and side stories were the big issues for me.  I’m okay with one or two flashbacks but a reading pet-peeve of mine is when they continue through the entire book and this one did.  Also, most of the characters I cared about were absent for much of the book.  Instead, we get Jace paired up with this other woman from yet another world and I really never did care for her much so it didn’t bother me much when she simply disappeared without any resolution because I had been wanting her to disappear for most of the book.

I still enjoyed Jace as a character but this book was all over the place and felt a little like it was searching for a plot.  That the whole point of the book was to fill in back-story for the main character.  All of those details should have been spread over multiple book to lessen the info-dump feel that it ended up giving this one.

Sigh… simply put this book didn’t work for me as a reader and while I might have said good-bye to this world and moved on with my life normally I already own the remaining three books in the series and feel like I should really see this one out.  I truly hope the series gets better, closer to what attracted me to in book one.  I do think I will be taking a break, however,  perhaps if I put a couple of book by other authors between this one and the next I will be able to approach it with an open mind.  Fingers-crossed.

My Rating:2 Stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Couples

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week they ask us to share lists on the following:

February 14: All About Romance Tropes/Types — top ten favorite hate-to-love romances (from books or movies or tv), top ten favorite (or least favorite) insta-love romances, favorite slow-burn romances, favorite star-crossed lovers, etc. etc. Can go so many ways with this one).

First off Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  I know this is a made-up holiday and many people hate this day as much as I hate Mother’s Day.  Personally, I don’t really celebrate the holiday beyond using it as an excuse to go out for lunch and justifying a new book purchase.  For this week’s list I decided to share my favorite couples from the series I read.

My Ten Favorite Couples

  1. Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1) Bones and Cat: I also enjoy the couple in the spin-off Night Prince series almost as much as the original but wanted to limit each author to one spot on this list.  This will become more difficult in future picks as you will see. This series, however, was a great example of a strong female paired with a strong male.  This series isn’t so much about Cat as it is about the bond and chemistry between her and Bones.  They make this world.
  2. First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1) Charley and Reyes: How could this couple not be on this list.  The dynamics between Charley and Reyes is off the chart!  I love watching these two work at couplehood.  They are such strong contrasts that can almost seem to flip in an instant.  Just when you think you have these two figured out they shift or trade persona and it has your head spinning.   Love these two!
  3. A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1) Diana & Matthew: Sigh.  I so miss these two.
  4. Night Play (Dark-Hunter #5, Were-Hunter #1) Bride & Vane: This was a difficult series to pick just one couple from.  If you know the series it might surprise you that I picked these two.  Sure there were lots of great books but when I considered who to select I wanted to go with a couple I enjoyed together not just a book where I had a crush on the male lead.  This is probably the earliest case where that happen in the series.
  5. Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega, #1) Anna & Charles:  What?   Why didn’t I pick Mercy and Adam?  Because while I love Mercy’s series I often feel that the chemistry between her and Adam falls flat. Anna and Charles have a richer dynamic that I love.
  6. Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse, #4) Sookie & Eric: Spoiler alert! But Sookie doesn’t end up with Eric… I know and that is why Ms. Harris is dead to me forever and I will not read another of her books.  I LOVED Sookie and Eric together and felt the entire series was about these two coming together only for the author to tear them apart in the last few books to pair Sookie up with the equivalent to a brother.  No fire at all between them.  Yes, I’m holding a grudge.  
  7. Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1) Merit & Ethan: As I’ve said before it took me four books to root for these two but when I finally jumped on board these two because one of my favorites.  I will miss them.
  8. Raphael (Vampires in America, #1) Raphael & Cyn: These two are hot and fortunately even though the series has moved its focus off of this couple we still get to check in with them every now and again in novellas.
  9. Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #3)  Zsadist & Bella: This is another series where there were so many great couples to choose from I had a difficult time remembering who I enjoyed most.  I went with these two because their story is just so phenomenal.
  10. The Time Traveler's Wife Clare & Henry: The story of these two’s love just breaks my heart.  If you want a heart-wrenching bitter-sweet love affair then this is the book for you.  That last chapter, that last page man had me wiped out.  Such a beautiful story.

There you have some of my favorite couples this Valentine’s Day.  Who are some of your favorite couples?

Monday Morning Check-In: Shopping

Monday Morning Check-In

Good Monday morning everyone!  I hope you had a great weekend and got lots of reading time in.  I did not…  Last weekend was my first long day out after surgery and while I did well I did get tired and was awfully sore by bed time.  Husband and I went to a flea market that was a bust because it was so crowded you couldn’t look at the booths because of all the people in the way.  Then we went thrifting, again not finding much, before we stopped at our favorite Thai restaurant (finally…) for lunch and grocery shopping.  It mad for a long day and by the end my body was yelling at me when I tried to pick anything up over five pounds.  I made it though!  I also picked out my Valentine’s Day gift the latest release by my favorite author Sherrilyn Kenyon, Born in Vengeance.  A hefty read at 4oo pages I hope to get to this book the first half of this year maybe after I finish the current series I am on.  I have several books of hers to read including the one before vengeance which is like 800 pages long…  Lots of books sitting on my to-read bookcase actually, I should really stop playing on the computer and requesting review books altogether.  Well, I’m going to write-up Top Ten Tuesday’s post today so I will leave you now.

Happy Reading!

Death Blows by D.D Barant

Book Review

 


Death Blows (The Bloodhound Files, #2)Book Genre: Mystery, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: The Bloodhound Files #2

Released: 3/30/10 by St.Martin’s Paperbacks

Pages:  332 Price:$7.99 paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I own a copy of this book.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

FBI profiler Jace Valchek was pulled into this parallel realm to hunt for Aristotle Stoker, a human serial killer who preys on vampires and werewolves. Now she works for the National Security Agency of the Unnatural States of America—and her boss is a vampire.

At a bizarre crime scene, Jace finds a bloodsucker murdered by magic, fried to the bone and dressed in the costume of the comic book hero the Flash—a character who isn’t supposed to exist here. Comic books have been outlawed for their powers, including crossover spells like the one that transported Jace to this world. Soon, she’s following a trail of dead bodies into the sinister underworld of black-market comics—where a deranged madman gives new meaning to the term “super-villain”…

Death Blows is a fast-paced, exciting follow-up to Dying Bites—DD Barant and The Bloodhound Files just keep getting better, and Jace Valchek’s world keeps getting stranger …

My Review:

Decided to continue this series now that I managed to get my hands on all the remaining books.  Of course, I had to go back and relisten to the first book for a refresher to this world.  Have to say it is a little weird to switch from listening to the audiobook to then read the next book.  It was almost as if I could hear a faint impression of the narrator’s voice for some of the characters as I read.  Hopefully that fades as I progress into the next book as most of the time I prefer my own interpretation of character’s personalities as I read.

I did enjoy book two, probably not as much as the first one but enough to want to dive into the third book as soon as I’m done with my review.  I am kind of digging this idea of parallel existences and how the main character struggles with the difference between the two realities.  After all it is easy to relate as a reader when you are constantly entering stories that are similar yet just a bit different from your own.

The plot of this book was centered around graphic novels or comic a culture that is pretty complex to fan and awfully confusing to those who are not into the genre.  While I respect the work I’m not a huge fan myself.  Still, I found it interesting peek into this subculture that I know little about.  Setting that aside this is still a great who-done-it detective story as Jace races around to figure out and catch the bad guy.

The same main supporting characters from the first book are back and I have to say I really like Charlie.  I am also a fan of Dr. Pete and was so disappointed in regards to what happen to him in this book.   Hope everything eventually works out with him.  We also have a fun new character come into Jace’s life that looks to be a new housemate.  I don’t want to spoil it but what an interesting twist on the were genre.

The book also manages to get some political/social commentary in without being too heavy-handed, which I always appreciate.   Overall a fun read and an interesting twist on the urban fantasy/paranormal genre.  Looking forward to the next book!

My Rating:4 Stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Never Ending Story…

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week they ask us to share lists on the following:

February 7:  Top Ten Books I Wish Had (More/Less) X In Them

I searched all morning for a theme to fill in for X in this week’s list.  Some of the ideas I had were: Better Pacing, Less Sex, Fewer Flashbacks, Different Ending, Less Politics, More Action.  All great ideas in my opinion but I could never find more than one or two books to fit the criteria.  So I scrapped them all and decided to go with ‘Stories I wished had never ended’.   Sorry if it doesn’t exactly fit the theme…

Ten Stories I Wish Had Never Ended

  1. My Name Is Memory This is a stand-alone book that was so good that I wish it could have been a series.  The author could have also taken this theme and followed other characters that went through the same drama of being reincarnated over and over again.  The history and exotic location along with that reincarnation theme made this a book where I wish there was more.
  2. Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1) They say all good things come to an end and it might be that I am about 80 pages from finishing the last book in this series that earned the Chicagoland Vampires series a spot on this list.  It took me about three or four books to fall for Merit and Ethan but to know we won’t be a part of their lives anymore makes me sad…
  3. High Stakes (Vegas Vampires, #1) This is a fun quartet of books set in Vegas.  It appears that the author tends to write a set of four books and then moves on to something new.  Not a big deal but I kind of liked this world and wish we could have explored it longer.
  4. Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, #1) Loved this series and I was so sad to see it end.  Again, I understand all good things must end but I felt some of the characters still had potential.  Fortunately, we do have a brand new prequel, The Turn (released today go check out my review), which gives us another taste from this series so who knows maybe there will be more to come.
  5. Wildwood Dancing (Wildwood, #1) This was a sweet little YA duology of books that felt like there should have been so much more.  There were a set of sisters, I can no longer remember how many, and only two of them got their own stories.  I was hoping that we would get to see all of them find a H.E.A.
  6. Archetype Another duology of books that I wished was a longer series.  This one had so much potential and the author’s writing was amazing.  I haven’t seen anything by her afterward but I do see on social media that she is working on something new.
  7. A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1) Loved this trilogy so much that I reread all the books each time a new one was released.  I have heard rumors that there will be some prequels to come.  Fingers crossed.
  8. Up From the Grave (Night Huntress #7) Awesome kick-ass urban fantasy series are never long enough in my opinion. Of course, some people feel that they can go stale but if I am digging a world and love the characters I simply never want to say good-bye.
  9. Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (Jessica, #1) A YA duology that could have been so much more…  I also feel like this is a lesser known set of books so please go check these books out!
  10. Redshirts A stand-alone title that works quite well as a stand-alone, actually.  In this instance, I wish we would have had some stories set in the crazy world before they figured out what was happening.  I guess if one want that, however, one can simply watch Star Trek and experience the same campy fun. Excellent read.

Well there you have my doesn’t-really-fit-the-theme list for this week.  I almost just skipped it but decided since I promised a list in yesterday’s post I should deliver…. Feel free to share links to your lists in the comments!

Monday Morning Check-In: Reading Day

Monday Morning Check-In

Good Monday morning everyone!  I was perhaps a bit more active than I should have been over the weekend and Sunday night I was feeling a bit sore.  So I’ve decided that after I finish writing up this post I am going to take my over-active self and go back to bed.  I am declaring a day of reading.  Unfortunately, you won’t be seeing any of the reviews for the next few books as they all have release dates later this year.  I am about half-way through and audio book, however, and might finish that up today or tomorrow and will get that review out to you.  It is kind of weird and I’m not quite sure what I think of it.

Have a great week and see you tomorrow for Top Ten Tuesday!

ARC The Turn by Kim Harrison

Book Review

 


The Turn (The Hollows #0.1)Book Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: The Hollows #0.1

Released: 2/7/17 by Gallery Books

Pages: 407  Price: $26.99 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Can science save us when all else fails?

Trisk and her hated rival, Kalamack, have the same goal: save their species from extinction.

Death comes in the guise of hope when a genetically modified tomato created to feed the world combines with the government’s new tactical virus, giving it an unexpected host and a mode of transport. Plague takes the world, giving the paranormal species an uncomfortable choice to stay hidden and allow humanity to die, or to show themselves in a bid to save them.

Under accusations of scientific misconduct, Trisk and Kal flee across a plague torn United States to convince leaders of the major paranormal species to save their supposedly weaker kin, but not everyone thinks humanity should be saved.

Kal surreptitiously works against her as Trisk fights the prejudices of two societies to prove that not only does humanity have something to offer, but that long-accepted beliefs against women, dark magic, and humanity itself can turn to understanding; that when people are at their worst that the best show their true strength, and that love can hold the world together as a new balance is found.

My Review:

If you are a fan of the now finished Hollows series then you will not want to pass this one up!  Especially, if like me, you always wondered how all the turn that outed all the paranormal species happen.  This prequel will deliver that answer and more as we are taken back to the 60’s and find out how the world almost lost its humans.

I loved this book, a chance to visit this world once again and maybe see some familiar faces was such a treat.  Took me a bit to actually figure out how each new character would eventually fit into the world as I would come to know it but I caught on soon enough.  The story was a bit slow in the first half but by the second half the action had picked up to a pace that felt true to this series.

The characters were a great mix and while many were missing, not having been born, their absence was barely felt with all the new people to take their place.  Trisk was great, a strong female lead that did this series proud.  Kal, on the other hand, was a complete and utter ass.  In fact, my only disappointment with this entire book was that he got off far top easily for his crimes.  Personally, I think being drug off to hell would be the only fitting reward for his actions but then he would not be there to set up events for the future series.  Still, totally unfair he deserved worse….the spoiled brat.  I also feel bad for Trisk’s future but if I look at it logically she did some pretty questionable actions as well.

This book was not what I was expecting when I learned there would be a prequel to The Hollows series.  I was expecting a short little novella with a fun tale that would make me nostalgic for a series now finished.  What we got was a full-length adventure introducing a whole set of new characters and bringing back a few of our favorites.  This book has depth and substance and delivers so much more than just a tale about where The Hollows’ world all went wrong.  This book also takes a look and raises some interesting questions about human genetic modification of crops and viruses along with government control and coverup.  Just when does the end no longer justify the means?

So again, if you love The Hollows pick this book up and enjoy the ride.  If you have no previous history with this world or its characters I say give it a go too.  Ms. Harrison is an excellent author that delivers an excellent read.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Month in Review: January 2017

Month in Review

Read this month: 7 Books, 2,265 Pages 

Read this year: 7 Books, 2,265 Pages 

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, #1) Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man Saturn Run Eleventh Grave in Moonlight (Charley Davidson, #11)

The Long War (The Long Earth, #2) Zoe's Tale (Old Man's War, #4) Phantom Kiss (Chicagoland Vampires, #12.5)

Looking Back:

Starting off 2017 nice and strong and only half of the books I read were audio…  Actually I’m starting to get over my feeling like that is cheating. After all I’m able to get stuff done and still get some story time in.  Since I have decided to read based upon my whim most if not all of the books last month were rated 4 or 5 stars.  I think The Long War might have been a 3 star, though, and I DNF the next book in that series as I had simply lost interest in the series.  The first three books pictured above were all delightful surprises in how much I enjoyed them. Well, it’s not like I’m going to hate anything having to do with Leonard Nimoy, but the book was better than I was expecting.  The last week of the month was a bit of a lost week as I had my surgery on the 24th and didn’t push myself into picking up a book while I started recovery.

Looking Ahead:

I have a whole month where I can’t do squat.  I am literally supposed to sit my ass on a couch while my insides recover from major surgery.  If I can stay off YouTube I might get some serious reading done.  I am almost finished with a review book and if I don’t get sleepy I will push through and finish it tonight.  After that I have about 3 or 4 more review books waiting for me with later release dates.  So I might read them this month and you will see their reviews later in the year.  I do have an audio book or two that I have yet to start and a blanket that needs to be finished so expect a couple of those reviews this month as well.  As for challenges this year I have decided to continue to not participate in any.  I like this reading what ever strikes my fancy.  I did sign up for the Goodreads challenge so I can get my little shiny badge but only pledged to read 52 books (one a week).

Happy Reading ~Amy